Home Grown Health and Fitness

By: Goldi Schiffner

With the summer days upon us and swimsuits beckoning in our closets, it’s time to get that great beach body.  Whether or not you can reach your goal before summer time ends, it is important to start improving your overall health and well-being.  Remember, just because you may enjoy medical marijuana, that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise and eat right!

Do you medicate before or after your work out?

After researching proven resources and documentation relating to the theory of smoking medical marijuana and working out,  I had little success, so I began asking around.  One friend said he pushes himself harder in his workouts if he smokes prior.  He explained, when challenged with additional sets in weight lifting for example, he is more likely to do additional reps because he’s not focused on the pain or stress.

On a separate occasion, a former 24 Hour Fitness employee said, “working out is 50% mental, and 50% physical.  When you tell your mind you are tired, your body follows. Personally, when I smoke I get sidetracked into a song I’m listening to and run longer.”

The Internet commentary on this subject is comprised of forum posts, where friendly stoners around the globe voice their curiosities and opinions.  Some claim that marijuana inhibits the effects of working out, while others state its benefits or neutrality. The arguments on forums and blogs across the World Wide Web show that there’s a lot of interest on the subject matter.  Some proven facts of reference would be nice, so I hope this observation prompts a study at Yale in the near future.

With or without the sweet green leaf, the locals have the beautiful city of San Diego at  their disposal.  We’re spoiled with 70 degree weather almost year round, giving us the perfect fitness choice paired with fresh air, especially since the next few months will be gorgeous.  It’s time to get active, try exercising outdoors this summer, and choose better munchies.

Beach It and Burn Calories

The beach, with its glistening water and cozy sand, is a perfect place to start your fitness adventure.  The best workouts are the ones where you don’t even know your burning calories and building muscle.  Case in point – body boarding and surfing are great activities/workouts because with these activities you can burn 215 calories per hour.

With surfing being a superior calorie burner to body boarding, it  works out your core and arms as you ride the waves.  From experience, I found La Jolla Shores and Coronado to be fun places to body board.  Del Mar is the “beginners spot” for surfers, and Pacific Beach and Cardiff are perfect for the intermediate.  Advanced? Try Sunset Cliffs and Blacks Beach.

Quick and cool disclaimer, I was recently corrected by a surfer who explained only the “uncool” would call body boarding by its more popular moniker “boogie boarding.”  Call it what you will, but the more aquatic locals are sure to frown on your boogie boarding enthusiasm.  Also, if you are body boarding, he explained that it is important you stay out of the way of surfers, especially if you have the kids along.  Some beaches separate body boarders from surfers, so pay attention to the flags to avoid getting hurt.

Without surf or body board, you can always enjoy the 500 per hour calorie burning benefits of swimming in the Pacific Ocean.  Swimming is the perfect cardio work out  that helps tone and shape a lean body.

Swim parallel to the shore, so that you don’t get carried away by the waves. And come prepared with goggles and a snuggly fit swim suit, swim out past the break and then choose a destination (house, pier, or bathroom) several hundred feet away and start your stroke!

If your sea legs need a break, try running on the beach to burn those calories and tone your legs.  Running on the sand takes more muscle strength because your body is maintaining the velocity to power through the soft sand creating resistance. This resistance gets your heart rate up quicker and provides an intense workout.

Wear your running shoes to avoid injuries and tread the hard packed sand near the shore.  If a long run is above your comfort level, start with a nice long walk on the shores.  You can also walk in the ankle deep water,  which is great resistance that pushes your muscles to work harder.

Finally, bring a football, baseball or Frisbee to your next beach day and get everyone involved in burning up to 100 calories per hour.  Work your shoulders, triceps and biceps while having fun.

Remember to wear sun block.  It’s no fun being burnt and put at higher risk for skin cancer, so start your summer with a nice bottle of SPF 15 and lather up every time your outdoors. Always reapply sun block throughout your day at the beach.

Get Moving and Enjoy San Diego County

Southern California features some of the most appealing beach destinations, but there’s even more to discover when you go a few steps inland.  Get moving around San Diego and experience outdoor fitness at one of these spots:

Located between La Jolla and Del Mar, Torrey Pines is a hidden gem that many locals haven’t experienced.  Imagine taking in the ocean breeze and hiking on a wild trail at the same time? If this fits your fancy, the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is for you and it’s  the perfect way for even the inexperienced hiker to burn calories.  Situated against Torrey Pines beach, the natural reserve is home to rare Torrey Pine trees, eight miles of hiking trails, and a lagoon that accommodates migrating sea birds.

If you are up for a more advanced hike – three miles of twists and turns –  try going inland to Poway’s Iron Mountain trail.  Hiking Iron Mountain is a blast and you’ll be pleased when you reach the top to enjoy an expansive view, extending to Del Mar.

Mission Bay is filled with fun activities for the whole family, couples or even a good group of friends.  Being one of the largest man-made aquatic parks in the country, you can find kayak, personal watercraft and wakeboard rentals in the area.

Try a nice walk or jog around the bay, or pull out  those dusty rollerblades. Rollerblading is an excellent way to burn 900 or more calories per hour while enjoying the San Diego sun.  For a memorable summer day, set up a barbeque with your closest friends and family, bring healthy skewers with vegetables and chicken along with some cold fruit.  Don’t forget to pack a football or Frisbee, and challenge everyone to a run around the park!

If you keep yourself moving, you’ll be helping to keep yourself fit. Take in all the great sites listed in this article by making a weekend activity calendar.  Hit all the fun and fit destinations this summer and enrich your life with more of what San Diego has to offer.

Eat Better Munchies

Weight control and fitness rely on a proper diet.  If you’re a medicinal marijuana user you may succumb to the occasional case of the munchies – and that’s okay.  If you are trying to slim down, the catch is enjoying that sinful piece of cheesecake occasionally.  Make better choices with munchies all the time and share the health with your friends.

There’s a simple trick to weight loss, and it’s based on medical and mathematical facts. If you take in 200 calories less each day by making better eating choices, and burn an additional 200 calories you’re cutting 400 calories total.

Cut 400 calories a day Monday through Saturday and you’ve ridden yourself of 2,400 calories.  Losing one pound equates to eliminating 3,500 calories. You may need to step up your goals if you have more weight to lose and would be advised to talk to your doctor or a weight loss professional.

If you fall off the health and wellness wagon don’t be discouraged, instead make a better choice with your next meal.  By sticking to a healthier regimen you can improve your well-being, here are some tips:

Summertime is the perfect time for produce, especially berries.  Raspberries, strawberries and blueberries have been called “super foods” because of their great nutritional content.  Not only are they filled with sweet goodness and provide half your daily value of vitamin C, but they also have ellagic acid, which is an anti-carcinogen.  Carcinogens are chemicals that cause cancer.  Ellagic acid binds with carcinogens making them inactive.  Try going to a smaller market, like Trader Joes or Whole Foods to get these berries on sale.  Make it a treat by adding frozen or regular non-fat yogurt to your berries.

It is easy to get enough fiber in your diet.  If you’re trying to lose weight, the truth is, you’re going to have to get rid of it somehow and there’s only one way for it to go properly.  A great place to jump start the effort is by making sure you are getting the proper amount of fiber in your diet.

The two types of fiber are soluble and insoluble.  Making up 75% of your daily requirement, insoluble fiber passes through our intestines largely intact and promotes regular bowel movement.  Insoluble fiber also removes toxic waste from our colon more rapidly and prevents cancer causing microbes in the intestines. You can find the ever important soluble fiber in corn bread, wheat bran, fruit and vegetable skins, seeds and nuts.

Soluble fiber is the other 25% of the equation, and you need it because it helps to regulate the LDL cholesterol, known as the “bad” cholesterol. You’ll find soluble fiber in dried peas, nuts, fruits and vegetables, barley, flaxseed, and oat/oat bran.

It has been scientifically proven that fiber provides many health advantages.  To start you need 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day.  By having a high fiber diet you can promote weight loss and a healthier heart.  Buy trail mix, fresh fruit and high fiber cereal next time you are at the market.  Make  it a habit because it’s an effortless way to maximize your fitness results – all you have to do is eat right.

For years you’ve heard “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and it’s actually true.  To avoid gorging throughout the day and allow yourself to make better food choices, you have to start your day with breakfast. Unfortunately, “wake and bake” doesn’t actually count as the breakfast of champions.

Studies have shown that those who eat a balanced breakfast are generally more fit and can maintain a healthier weight.  The most researched and known beneficial breakfast choice is cereal.  Cereal is an easy way to start the day right.  You can find a wide variety of high fiber cereals at your local grocery store.  Don’t be afraid to check out the nutritional facts on the cereal boxes – after all, your entire day is counting on it.  I usually look for at least 20% of my daily value of fiber per serving.

If eating breakfast is a challenge, try brainstorming different things you may find appetizing.  There are many choices so think outside the box and prepare your next grocery list; eggs, beans, meat, nutritional drinks, spaghetti and pancakes.

Fit the fitness into your schedule

In real life, a fun beach day and health food kick aren’t always on the menu.  An outlook that I’ve established is to go about living my life as a healthy individual.  That means, when you’re looking at the restaurant’s menu to decide what to order, think, “I should get a vegetable as one of my sides,” and “do I really need those Jalapeño poppers?” Or, order a salad at lunch, even if your friends will make fun of your dainty Cesar dressing.  We’re all born with one body. With every healthy choice you make, your body will thank you for it.

There are many other activities you can keep in mind for a weekday or morning calorie burn.  Dedicate at least 30 minutes to an hour per day  toward some physical activity and you will notice a significant change in your physique over time.

Try making it a routine, where you take a walk around your neighborhood or on your lunch break at the office.  Try a fitness DVD that looks fun and get into the groove for at least 30 minutes per day.

Ride your bicycle in the evenings for some exhilarating exercise.  Instead of driving to the corner store, make it a goal to bike or walk there occasionally.

Each and every time you get to the grocery store, park far and make it a habit!  If you park farther away you are forcing yourself to walk an extra distance, do that all the time and it adds up.  Don’t forget about ice skating this summer, because it burns up to at least 500 calories per hour and makes for a heat wave getaway.

With these tricks, I have kept the weight off and have a body that’s not exactly toned, but  a work in progress.  I never said I was perfect, instead I believe in living a fit lifestyle as opposed to being stifled by difficult diet regimens and workout routines.  Life should be happy and enriched by your personal fitness endeavors, not limited by them.

America ranks as one of the unhealthiest nations in the world, despite being one of the most advanced in medicine.  Many attribute the bad health to the large fast food companies cramming their slogans, ease of access, and branding down our throats for years.  If you’re an anarchist, you’ll certainly enjoy the organic and whole food approach that douses the corporate company wallets  while making you healthier. Review this article and create your next grocery list and fun fitness outing that takes advantage of the vast outdoor offerings in Southern California.

It can be challenging to maintain or begin a healthy lifestyle, but as Benjamin Franklin once said, “You may delay, but time will not.”

bringing you that fire! stay tune for more posts.

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